How serious inequality is in the Cornish countryside hosting the G7 Summit

Next week, as Joe Biden breathes in the Atlantic air and descends the Air Force One stairs on his first overseas trip as President of the United States, he will be the latest visitor to the jagged peninsula at the southwestern tip of mainland Britain. Become. Already full: Cornwall.

This corner in the UK needs little more publicity. Already one of the UK’s most popular domestic holiday destinations, hotels and restaurants are definitely crowded due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions on international travel.

The arrival of Biden and other foreign leaders at the G7 Summit, which begins next Friday at a boutique hotel in Carvis Bay, will only strengthen the region’s reputation as a premium destination.

The charm of the Celtic region, which is a wedge-shaped granite that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, is based on myths and legends. The G7 brings together world leaders to solve world problems and adds another layer to Cornwall’s folklore.

Police patrol the beach in front of the Carbis Bay Hotel, where the G7 Summit will be held in Cornwall next Friday © Cameron Smith

Biden’s aides have already talked about how to replace his armored car’s beast limousine with a “mini beast” that is better suited to the narrow, winding lanes of Cornwall.

Local police are concerned that the infamous offensive seagulls in the area could damage drones that monitor large-scale security activities.

Cornwall provides a reduced background for some of the key themes that dominate the summit.

Climate change: The county has geothermal power.Future Industry: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson This county is called “Lithium Klondike”. Inequality: Cornwall has many examples of poverty and is one of the areas covered by Johnson’s post-Brexit “leveling” agenda.

Bar chart of gross value added per person in 2019. 10 lowest regions, including regional and national comparisons (£ '000) showing that Cornwall is one of the poorest regions in the UK *

The G7 Summit breaks the gap between the type of people staying in hotels in Carvis Bay, the millions of pounds of homes along the stunning Cornish coast, and those living elsewhere in Britain’s poorest areas. Will be highlighted.

Locals are engaged in low-wage hospitality and face rising housing costs.

Located 10 miles by car from Carbis Bay, at the Pengegon Mansion in Camborne (formally one of England’s poorest areas), residents were not impressed by the arrival of the G7 Diplomatic Circus. They complained that world leaders were able to dive into Cornwall during a pandemic but were unable to meet their loved ones for months.

Visitors Eat Tea and Something on the Salvation Army’s Weekly Drop-in Morning at Transformations in Redruth, Cornwall, in line with a food bank run by the local charity Transformation © Getty Images

“They are celebrities. They have one rule and we seem to have another,” said Heidi Chesterfield, who takes care of him. Her friend Anna Francis is skeptical that the county will benefit in the long run by hosting the summit. “Cornwall is what sets us apart. We are always forgotten.”

Downing Street tried to embrace this annoying juxtaposition of wealth and poverty. Johnson would argue that the G7 agenda of green growth and new technology, with its ambitions to be a leader in renewable energy, green tourism and even space, really benefits remote areas such as Cornwall. plans Built the UK’s first spaceport.

Line chart of total weekly wages (£) for all full-time workers, showing that Cornwall's average wage level is well below the national average

But some are skeptical. The resentment of the distant EU elite, revealed in a 2016 Brexit vote, is reflected by the traditional frustration of wealthy income earners who have pushed home prices and turned real estate into villas. Masu.

Bailey Tomkinson, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from St Ives, wrote a song inspired by the nearby G7 Summit. She says “Blood Red” captures her anger at the event. It seems to be dedicated to sustainable development, but leaders are taken to the hotel by plane and helicopter, and trees have been removed to accommodate them all.

Local singer-songwriter Bailey Tomkinson said her song “Blood Red” captured her anger at the G7 Summit © Cameron Smith

“It’s like Joni Mitchell. They paved paradise,” she said. “There are people who can change the world with pen strokes, but what are they doing to help us? One in three people a mile away from Carvis Bay. The child is born in poverty. “

In the adjacent harbor of St Ives, 70-year-old John Harry, born and raised in the town, makes a gesture across the waterfront. “This place is full by 11:00 am. St Ives isn’t gone anymore. It’s like this for 12 months of the year.”

One of the local cafes refuses visitors and tells them that their next lunch reservation is July 28th. She urged visitors to explore lesser-known areas of the county.

Malcolm Bell, head of the Visit Cornwall Tourism Organization, points out that his industry accounts for £ 2 billion in annual sales, 12% of the county’s GDP and one-fifth of employment. He says most locals think tourism is an economical necessity: “This would make hospitals better if doctors weren’t for all patients. It’s like saying. “

A line graph of the median home price to median annual income shows that home prices in Cornwall are higher than income.

Londoners are starting to make Cornwall their main home, working from home and perhaps having an apartment in the capital. Homes are turning into Airbnb rentals. Once considered a traditional “bucket and spade” family destination, the county has moved to an upscale location.

Bell suggested that it was triggered by the opening of Tate’s former postpost base in St Ives in 1993. Former Prime Minister David Cameron spent his vacation in Rock on the North Coast. In the summer, the village collects money and makes surfing chic. The entire county hotel and holiday park have been upgraded. “We are now a premium product,” says Bell.

Johnson is keenly aware that the G7 is not generally popular in Cornwall. The company was forced to close, the hotel in Carvis Bay was still on the construction site, and Biden’s security team left no chance regarding the closure of the road.

However, the British Prime Minister has promised to invest in the county and leave the summit’s legacy. Taylor said it was essential to help residents of places like Pengegon, not just where G7 leaders visited. “We need to make sure that this heritage extends throughout Cornwall.” ..

How serious inequality is in the Cornish countryside hosting the G7 Summit

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